There is a distorting, as well as legitimate tradition

download report

Transcript There is a distorting, as well as legitimate tradition

Queer Saints, Sinners and
Martyrs in Church History
The Church’s “Constant and Unchanging
Tradition”
????????

Not everything that exists in
the Church must for that reason
be also a legitimate tradition;
in other words, not every
tradition that arises in the
Church is a true celebration
and keeping present of the
mystery of Christ. There is a
distorting, as well as
legitimate tradition …
consequently tradition must be
considered not only
affirmatively, but also critically.

-Fr Joseph Ratzinger
Changing Traditions:
Marriage and Scripture
The destruction of Sodom
Sergius and Bacchus
Sergius and Bacchus:
Patron Saints of Gay Marriage?
Early Church and Heterosexual Marriage

NOT designed for procreation

Valued LESS highly than celibacy. Even in
marriage, virginity was more highly valued.

Sexual intercourse was a necessary evil – only
permitted on 110 days a year

In the dark, fully clothed, and not for pleasure!
Changes in Biblical Interpretation
What WAS “the sin of the Sodomites”?
“‘Now this was the sin of your
sister Sodom: She and her
daughters were arrogant, overfed
and unconcerned; they did not help
the poor and needy. 50 They were
haughty and did detestable things
before me. Therefore I did away
with them as you have seen.
Ezekiel 16:49-50 (NIV)
Queer Saints in the Early Church

Martyrs for the Church:
 Sergius

and Bacchus
 Polyeuct
and Nearchos
 Justinus
and Maximus?
 Felicity
and Perpetua?
Other
 Galla
and Benedicta
 Paulinus
of Nola
A “Medieval Flowering?”

Saintly exponents of male love, in verse and prose
 Venantius
Fortunatus, Aelred of Rievaulx, Anselm of
Canterbury, Alcuin of Tours

Female mystics
 Julian

of Norwich, Hildegard of Bingen
Not saints
 Marbod
 John
of Rienes
of Orleans: First openly gay bishop (1098)?
 Possibly
“gay” popes: Benedict IX and John XII
John of Orleans: First openly gay bishop
(1098)?

Known to be lover of Archbishop
Ralph of Tours, who suggested him

Previously known to have been the
lover of the French King, and
other French nobles

Opposition to his ordination – but
NOT because of his sexuality, or
even promiscuity

Opposition overruled
A Renaissance Paradox:

Active Persecution Begins
Gay Popes (Paul II)
Burning the Sodomites

Suppression of Knights Templar (1307)

Martyrdom of Joan of Arc

Active hunting down pf Sodomites

Begun by Church, taken over by secular authorities

Anti-sodomy legislation persisted, even in West, to late
20th century.

Culminated in Nazi pink holocaust
The Lesson of Saint Joan
• Accused of “heresy”
– for gender
transgression
• Tried, convicted by
theologians
• Later vindicated,
canonized
• Theologians can be
wrong!
Gay Popes, Papal Sodomites

Popes who are known to have had had sex with
men

Popes who were alleged by enemies to have had
sex with men

Popes who protected colleagues who had sex with
men

Papal Patrons of homoerotic art
Sistine Chapel Ceiling, Creation of Adam
Commissioned by Pope Julius II
For the Tomb of Pope Julius II
Sistine Chapel Altar Wall (detail)
Commissioned by Pope Clement VII
Queer Saints for Our Time

Vida Scudder

Tom Dooley

Dag Hammarskjöld

Rev Pauli Murray

Fr Mychal Judge
Queer Martyrs for Our Time


Physical Execution
 Nazi
Pink Holocaust
 Hate
crime murders
Career Execution
 Fr
John McNeill, SJ, Sr
Jeannine Gramick
 Rev
Janie Spahr, Rev
Chris Glaser
John McNeill, and husband Charles
 Rev
Jimmy Creech
 Rev
Troy Perry
The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian
The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian
The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian
The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian
The Triumph of the Martyrs:
A Modern Resurrection
• Since 1956, new interpretations of scripture
• LGBT affirmative Christian denominations, support
groups
• Welcoming and Affirming denominatons,
congregations
• Acceptance of LGBT clergy
• Gay and lesbian bishops, moderator (UCC, Canada)
• Religious advocates FOR gay marriage, adoption
Lessons?

For LGBT Christians, respect the call to sanctity,
and “martyrdom” – i.e. witness

For others, see beyond the false binary of
Christian / equality opposition.